International Journal of Earth Sciences, 97(2), 365–373p. (2008) DOI:10.1007/s00531-007-0237-4

Precise temperature monitoring in boreholes: evidence for oscillatory convection? Part 1: Experiments and field data

V. Čermák, J. Šafanda, L. Bodri

Temperature was monitored in two boreholes in Kamchatka (Russia) in years 2001-2003. Ten-min reading (sampling) interval was selected for the first half-year run followed by shorter (12 days) experiment with 5-s reading interval. A similar experiment was repeated later in the test borehole Sporilov (Prague, Czech Republic), where four temperature-time series were performed with reading intervals varying from 1 to 20 s. All temperature-time series (except the record from the bottom of the hole) displayed intermittent, non-periodic oscillations of temperature of up to several hundredths of degree with sharp gradients and large fluctuations over all observed time intervals. No such oscillation was detected at the bottom of the hole. The spectral analysis revealed a high level of stochasticity in the measured signal. Calculated spectra showed "band-pass" behavior without any definite peaks, which might characterize certain periodicity. Local growth of the second moment technique! revealed the presence of at least two distinct temperature-forming processes. One of them can be related to heat transfer in the structurally and compositionally complex subsurface. The second process, which presents the bulk of the measured signal, probably reflects certain intra-hole convection. We hypothesized that the oscillatory regime of such convection is responsible for the stochastic nature of measured temperatures. Results of numerical modeling describing the fluctuation of water-cells in a vertical slot support the idea of thermally unstable water column in a hole, the instability of which produces a complex oscillation system. Model solutions and their discussion is presented in Part II of this work.

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